August 27, 2011
After several days of camping with no showers in Kilfinane and competing and finishing over 17 miles of sweet Irish mountain biking singletrack for the SSWC Race in Ballyhoura, I woke up with a massive need for a shower. We wandered all over Kilfinane in search of the elusive showers that were supposed to be available and finally came across the community center…and it was closed.
I was grossing myself out, so I grabbed a handkerchief and some water and dabbed my armpits the best I could then went in search of breakfast. We had a breakfast sandwich and tea at Molly’s. We packed up and began our adventure up the Irish coast.
We stopped for the night in Fanore – a very tiny coastal town and
Interesting Fun Fact About Lodging in Fanore: Camping is more expensive than the hostel. No, seriously. It’s true. And the camping supervisor/owner guy is creepy. Just drive a few minutes down the road to Doolin. Ya. Doolin. It just sounds like a fun and friendly place. Then go to the Rainbow Hostel. Clean, welcoming and friendly with hot showers, free wi-fi, comfortable beds and a cozy wood burning fireplace in the living room. Also – deal maker for me: free homemade scone and tea or coffee in the morning. For 15 Euro a night, I was ready to hug whomever I came across (besides the fact that I was gross and tired from days of biking and camping with no shower).
After securing our hostel room, we went back into the town of Fanore and had dinner at a swanky place called Vasco. I tried to gussy myself up a little but settled for utilizing my “every purpose” scarf and my off-white (now brown) button up sweater and I had given up on my hair days ago. I was starting to look a little haggard. Vasco is an airy and organic restaurant right on the water with gorgeous views. Expensive for a budget traveler but really good.
Check out this cool bus we saw along the road! It’s an old Yamaha race bus that was converted into a camper!
Finally, I took a much needed long and hot shower. I felt brand new. Just in time for sunset, we drove out to the rock cliffs in an area called Barren. We popped some Guinness on the cliffs while watching the sunset. I have to say, I am not a big fan of Guiness but I was starting to appreciate the symbolism of drinking the chocolate colored mix.
Back at the hostel I moved quickly into relax and get cozy mode. I checked email by the warm fire in living room with a hot cup of tea. After 9 days of traveling in a group, I really needed some alone time so lost myself in Facebook updates, hurricane Irene news and the Kindle.
Alone time needed or not, my Irish hostel mates decided it was time to get rowdy. They brought out a guitar, tambourine and drums and began singing coastal fishermen songs. This is what makes the stories of travels…I quickly set the Kindle aside and watched on with a big grin on my face. They sang, Mingulay Boat and a song called Galway Girls. Then, they moved into a horrible rendition of Four Non Blonde’s “What’s Up” and Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. I was enjoying their fun music…until then. Luckily (or not?), they packed up and headed out to a local pub to see if they could play there! Drunk or delusional? I’m not sure but I was kind of sad to see them go.